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Category: RFID, Automated Data Collection, and Internet of Things

RFID, AIDC, and IoT News Round Up for Nov. 28, 2022


Professor Warns about Information Risk with RFID Implants in Humans; Auburn RFID Lab Keeps Chugging Along; 5G Technology is Opening Up New RFID Applications

Nov. 28, 2022
SCDigest Editorial Staff


Here are a few of the top stories on RFID, barcode data collection, and supply chain IoT over the past couple of weeks.


Professor Warns about Information Risk with RFID Implants in Humans

SCDigest has written off and one about so-called “bio-hacking,” which can involve in part a person embedding RFID chips into themselves, generally in the hand, with the chip being about the size of a grain of rice.

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The Auburn lab also helps a large number of students gain hands-on RRFID experience.

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The purpose? In bio-hacking pioneer Amal Graaftstra’s case at least, it was to automate routine tasks such as opening a garage door or turning on a computer with the wave of his hand. We first wrote about Graasfstra in 2010 (See Are RFID Tagged Humans Closer than we Think?)

Harmless fun, or maybe unique conversation starter? Maybe. But in a recent article in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, Ahmed Banafa of San Francisco Bay University warns there is real danger in the practice.

"At first glance, such consumer technology looks like a harmless whim, or the next logical step among those who favor piercings, or the supposed ultimate in convenience,” Banafa says, adding “But inserting identification microchips in humans would also seem to bear the seeds of a particularly intrusive form of surveillance, at a time when authorities in some parts of the world have been forcibly collecting DNA and other biological data – including blood samples, fingerprints, voice recordings, iris scans, and other unique identifiers – from all their citizens."

Banafa also says it's important to understand all of the implications of microchip implants, their humanity-changing benefits, and the potentially dangerous consequences.

Auburn RFID Lab Keeps Chugging Along

A number of years ago, Auburn University opened its RFID Lab, a center for testing and research on the technology.

The lab recently issued a press release to remind the market of its work, noting that it is teaming “with major retailers on tracking products through the supply chains, as well as working with restaurant chains in tracking the freshness of ingredients by placing tags on the packaging.”

The lab also helps a large number of students gain hands-on experience.

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"We have approximately 100 Auburn students working in the lab and gaining valuable experience prior to entering the workforce," said Justin Patton, director of the lab. He added that "We have students conducting high-level research, and their projects are being immediately implemented in several Fortune 500 companies."

5G Technology is Opening Up New RFID Applications

Writing on the web site, Alan Earls says so-called 5G cellular technology is contributing to increased RFID adoption.

Earls quotes David Petrucci, supply chain and operations leader at Protiviti, a global consulting firm located in Menlo Park, California as saying "Whether in a plant or distribution center or on the road, you always had a lot of potential RF interference with traditional RFID, and that threatened its ability to actually function in certain environments.”

For example, picking up RFID signals is sometimes unreliable in a manufacturing environment with lots of moving metal machinery and components. Now, by using 5G as a small local network provides better strength and less signal attenuation, making data movement faster and more reliable.

The article also discuss RFID’s potential roll in a digital transformation strategy.

"One thing that has come out of all the supply chain disruptions is the realization that we are far from the control t ower level of management that we really need," says Douglas Kent, executive vice president of strategy and alliances at the Association for Supply Chain Management.

He added that RFID “can be combined with other things like AI and IoT as part of a digital transformation strategy."

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